Τhe run up to Summer is upon us; Spring has come, bringing warm weather, sunny days, and cool nights. There are few places in the world where Spring truly manifests itself, and one of these places is Corfu; a Greek island where Spring meets its match!
Located in the Ionian sea, it is the second largest island of the region and could be referred to as a ‘mosaic of culture’. Influenced architecturally by the Venetian period and showcasing examples of Italianate style, Corfu is best described as where classical meets modern. A great contender for a sunny spring break, the region of Ag. Gordios is highly recommended for an incomparable holiday experience of calm seclusion. I had the opportunity to stay there in the past with my partner but since then the exclusive accommodation of La Grotta has been renovated, promising an even more amazing accommodation experience, opening for the public from May 2016 onwards.
It is close to the airport and we were in this Corfu paradise minutes after we arrived. The choice of hotel was perfect for us as privacy was non-negotiable. It is very important for your holiday experience that your accommodation choice takes into consideration that your time is sacred, ensuring you are experiencing what you are looking for. In this case, my partner and I considered that the noise often associated with family groups would not be appreciated by childless guests, such as us, who are looking for a more calm and holistic approach to holidaymaking. As an adults only resort, La Grotta is a retreat break location that is ideal for couples. We enjoyed the views of impeccable natural beauty and picture-perfect sunsets as the resort is built on a rock, making the location incredibly romantic. Sea-view is a key factor, and you can choose between bungalows or rooms overlooking the Ionian Sea.
You may prefer a more family friendly establishment in Corfu, which is more centrally located, yet does not fall short in the magical setting category; be sure to check the accommodation options available compared to your own personal needs, as some resorts are more suited to families, while others are more considerate of the requirements of couples.
Regardless, the unforgettable landscape of Corfu’s coast is the natural setting for you to customise your holiday exactly as you wish. Corfu has ample local flavours, aromas and dishes to taste and try, as well as a rich culture for you to see, due to its history of being a favourite during the eras of Imperialism. It promises vivid and vibrant images and it looks quite different from day to night.
In order to understand what makes Corfu so colourful, we decided to spend the day and early evening discovering the town. Spring is the perfect season to do this as the trees and flowers are in blossom and the warm temperatures make strolling around the centre a wonderful pastime. The piazzas are filled with people, buildings and old mansions that are worth making a stop to take a few photographs. They accurately showcase the diversity of architectural influence, given the diverse history of the island. The cobbled, narrow streets (the famous “kantounia”) are absolutely charming, and at first they may all look similar, but you will quickly find your bearings.
The opportunities to try local flavours and international cuisines are many in Corfu town. Personally, I would recommend that if you choose to dine out, try to avoid the very touristic places; you can usually tell when you see huge pictures of dishes on display signs or on the menu. These restaurants usually want to serve you quickly as they want a quick turnover on the tables served, killing the entire dining experience as you are constantly amidst table-setting and table-clearing, trying to block out the noise and commotion.
Alternatively, resort hotels usually will have a fine selection of local cuisine in their in-house restaurants: mouth-watering local delicacies include: tsitsibira (lemon juice beer), pastitsada (oven pasta dish) and sofrito (seared slices of veal in a white sauce); for dessert you should try sykomaides (fig pies) and kumquat (in any shape or form). Having mentioned these, it will be interesting to check with your accommodation choice about eating in; if you get a ‘Dine Around’ option for guests, don’t miss the chance to grab it as we did in La Grotta Verde Resort! This reduces the chance of taking a ‘risk’ when it comes to choosing where to lunch or dine. Essentially, the ‘Dine Around’ option is an excellent way to effortlessly taste a multitude of flavours, without risking the quality of your experience.
Still thinking about a visit to Corfu? I’m not. I can’t wait to return for another Spring holiday. And actually visiting Corfu has never been easier!
Tip: Ryanair has introduced a direct flight from Athens to Corfu, 3 times per week.